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    Upped your screen time during lockdown? Get your eyes checked

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    Seven in 10 office workers upped their screen use during lockdown – with millions suffering eye issues as a result, research has revealed.

    A survey of 2,000 18 to 60-year olds revealed 37 per cent have experienced tired eyes from looking at screens too often.

    One third (34 per cent) have had headaches, 20 per cent have had eye strain and 19 per cent have suffered dry eyes.

    And it is the younger generation which is suffering the most following their growing reliance on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

    The survey by modern spectacle makers Cubitts revealed 86 per cent of 18 to 24-year olds and 75 per cent of those aged 25 to 34 have been using a screen more during the lockdown period.

    Both age groups are typically spending around six-and-a-half hours looking at a screen on an average work day.

    The result is more than 40 per cent of each age group suffering tired eyes and headaches, while more than a fifth have been getting eye strain.

    More than a third (38 per cent) of adults even admitted they might be addicted to looking at screens.

    But once again the situation is worse for millennials and Gen-Z – with 48 per cent of 25 to 34-year olds thinking they’re addicted to screens and 52 per cent 18 to 24-year olds.

    It also emerged that during the peak of lockdown, the average adult was spending two-and-a-half hours on video calls each day.

    On top of this, they were spending a maximum of three hours binge-watching a TV series and 72 minutes per day on social media apps.

    The research also found 11 per cent of those polled for Cubitts by OnePoll could be causing themselves damage by needing prescription glasses but not having them.

    However, it also revealed the issues many think they’d face if they were told they needed glasses – with 37 per cent saying it would be difficult for frames to fit their head.

    But fewer than a third (32 per cent) have had an eye test over the past year.

    And a quarter (24 per cent) have either NEVER had their eyes tested or haven’t within the past five years – despite 90 per cent saying it is important to regularly have your eyes tested.

    Cubitts’ senior optometrist Betony Spall advises a 20-20-20 method of screen time – every twenty minutes, you take a twenty-second break and look twenty feet away from your screen.

    Spall also advises giving yourself a 10 minute break once an hour to allow your eyeballs a rest, or if it’s been two hours and you haven’t had a break, then you take twenty minutes.

    Other ways to keep your ocular equipment in good nick include embracing the night mode function on your smartphone and switching off your devices at least an hour before going to bed.

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien